"ZW -", short for "ZEXAL Weapon" (
"ZEXAL Weapons" debuted during Yuma and Astral's Duel against Kite Tenjo within the Pocket Dimension of the Emperor's Key, being created through a Shining Draw using the ZEXAL power. Each "ZW -" card is created to help Yuma and Astral overcome an opponent's monster they can't otherwise defeat. "ZW - Unicorn Spear" was the first ZEXAL weapon to be created in order to counter the banishing effect of "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon" and defeat Kite. It destroyed "Galaxy-Eyes", but Kite forced a draw.
Later on, in the WDC final, "ZW - Lightning Blade", "ZW - Tornado Bringer", and "ZW - Leo Arms" were created to allow "Number C39: Utopia Ray" fight Vetrix's seemingly unbeatable "Number 69: Heraldry Crest" on equal footing. "ZW - Ultimate Shield" then was created to turn the table on Dr. Faker/Vector's destruction-defying "Number 92: Heart-eartH Dragon" in the final battle.
In the Barian Invasion arc, "ZW - Eagle Claw" was formed to counter Alito's numerous usage of Counter Trap Cards. After that, "ZW - Asura Strike" and "ZW - Sleipnir Mail" were created to counter Number 96's array of "Number C" monsters.
When Dueling against Shark/Nash for the final time, "ZW - Sylphid Wing" was created and used along with "Double or Nothing!" in a final attempt to defeat "CXyz Barian Hope". By using its effect to allow "Utopia" to stop its own attack, Yuma prevented "Utopia" from triggering "Glory of the Seven Emperors" and won the Duel. No more "ZW -" were created after this; but two "ZS" (Zexal Servers) were created prior to the Duel between Yuma and Nash: "ZS - Vanish Sage" and "ZS - Ouroboros Sage".
During the Battle of Sargasso, when ZEXAL was thrown into an alternate form caused by the darkness within Astral, and the subsequent initiation of ZEXAL and resulted in Dark ZEXAL, Astral performed a Dark Draw, resulting in the creation of a "DZW -".
Currently, the only "DZW" is "Chimera Clad", which was created to grant "Utopia Ray V" the ability to prevent itself from being destroyed in battle, as well as doubling its ATK and allowing it to attack again. It is highly unlikely any more "DZW" will ever be created, as the conditions for Dark ZEXAL have been permanently undone.
The "ZW -" monsters are based on a combination of mythical beasts and weapons.
From Starter ZW - Deck sample
Weaknesses and Counter-Strategies
- "Ice Beast Zerofyne" is a particularly strong counter to the "ZW -" Equip Cards, given that they all have to be face-up to trigger their effects, and lock up their owner's Spell & Trap Card Zones.
- Since the power of the archetype hinges almost exclusively on "Number 39: Utopia" and the search capabilities of "ZW - Leo Arms". "Prohibition" or "Psi-Blocker" can effectively shut down the archetype.
- Non-targeting cards like "Book of Eclipse", "Begone, Knave!", "Pole Position", "Photon Alexandra Queen", "Wall of Illusion" (if attacked), etc. can easily remove the equipped monster from field. "Numeral Hunter" can perfectly counter a "Utopia" protected by the "ZW - Lightning Blade" and "ZW - Tornado Bringer" combo.
- "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon" (unless "Tornado Bringer" is used), "Number 62: Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon" and "Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon" are effective against "Utopia" monsters when equipped with "ZW -" cards. "Prime Photon Dragon" can destroy it by battle with a massive ATK boost, and "Tachyon Dragon" will negate all ATK boosts, (but not the other "ZW -" effects).